Austin McChord Is General Catalyst’s Newest Venture Partner
Austin is best known as the founder of Datto, a provider of total data protection solutions for businesses, bringing enterprise-class technology to businesses of all sizes around the world.
His is a classic tech entrepreneur’s story. Austin started the business in college, in the basement of his father’s engineering firm in Connecticut. From his initial idea — giving small businesses access to the data backup and recovery services typically available only to big companies — he grew Datto into a company with solutions reaching a half-million customers in 130 countries.
In 2013, General Catalyst led a growth round investment in Datto. Our relationship with him began over ice cream sundaes, a dessert with David Fialkow that led to the investment and Paul Sagan and Steve Herrod joining the Datto board.
As a first-time founder, Austin had grown Datto significantly — at that point, it had had four straight years of 300 percent growth — and was looking to expand internationally while still maintaining its headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut. GC’s investment powered the next phase of expansion for the company, and active involvement from Paul and Steve helped mature the company while giving Austin eyes and ears in Silicon Valley.
The result was Connecticut’s first ‘unicorn’, and Datto was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2017.
Austin will be based out of GC’s Boston office and will focus on identifying and investing in companies in the infrastructure and SaaS, software-enabled hardware, and industrial IoT spaces. True to the General Catalyst credo, Austin is an entrepreneur looking to help other entrepreneurs reach the next stage of their growth.